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HARRISONBURG -- Leaving a day early for its first state tournament appearance in five years, it took more than five hours for Carroll County’s team bus to get to Harrisonburg Friday night, thanks to a crash on I-81 in Salem. The Cavaliers’ season was wrecked the following day. Carroll County found itself in a double-digit hole before the end of the first quarter and could never fully recover, losing to Spotswood 62-46 Saturday in the Group AA Division 4 quarterfinals at James Madison University’s Convocation Center. The Region III champion Blazers (22-4) never trailed after K.K. Richardson scored off the opening tip just four seconds into the game. Runners-up in Region IV, the Cavaliers (19-5) were down 12-4 midway through the first on a stickback by Spotswood’s Chase Raynes. “Give it to Spotswood. They played a tremendous game against us,” Cavalier coach Marc Motley said. “If one thing sticks out in my mind it would be rebounding. They killed us on the offensive glass, especially the first half.” The Blazers outrebounded the Cavaliers 11-3 in the first eight minutes, 25-14 for the half. Raynes, who had taken the floor for injured starter Bailey Williams, shared team honors with 15 points. “The biggest thing for us this year was being able to protect some of our players who had some injuries, and by doing that we were able to play a lot of people a lot of minutes,” Spotswood coach Chris Dodson said. “Today that really paid off. When Bailey got hurt and Chase came in, we didn’t skip a beat.” A Kayla Goins 3-pointer had the Cavaliers within seven, 22-15, but the Blazers scored 10 unanswered points in a little more than a minute, including 3-pointers by Raynes and Carter Williams, to widen the margin to 32-15. Brianna Mitchell, who tallied 15 points, went coast to coast off a missed Carroll free throw to end the half with a layup, sending Spotswood into the break with a 38-22 lead. “We were ready when we came into the game, we knew what they were going to do, we just didn’t execute very well in the first half,” said Goins, who capped a stellar career with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds. “The second half we came out and did what we were supposed to, but we had already dug a hole for ourselves.” The Cavaliers would hit just eight of their first 26 shots from the floor, many of them chip shots under the bucket. “Their size and athleticism had a lot to do with that,” Motley said. “They’re 5-10, 5-11, long arms, athletic down low. They made us alter quite a few shots. That had a lot to do with why we missed two- or three-footers. It’s not just because we threw them up and missed them. It had a lot to do with how Spotswood played.” Despite the rugged start, and despite trailing 51-30 with less than a minute left in the third, Carroll County had three possessions with which to get to within 10 points in the fourth. Lindsey Martin ripped a 3-pointer to close the third quarter, Rachel Dalton opened the fourth with a driving layup, and Dalton’s trey cut the Blazers’ lead to 55-43 with 4:11 to play. The comeback ran out of steam with three missed shots and a turnover. “We were able to pressure the basketball a little bit more in the half court set,” Motley said. “And we seemed to attack it better toward the end of the third quarter, the beginning of the fourth quarter. We had a couple kids knock down some jumpshots, which really helped.” The game was the last in Cavalier blue for Goins and fellow seniors Sally Ann Edwards, Cydnie Cornell, Audrey Dickens and Kaitlan Viars. Goins is expected to play for Ferrum College next winter. “This is my family,” she said. “I’ve always looked at it like that. I hate to leave. I don’t want to go. I want to stay with them.” Carroll County......9 13 13 11––46 Spotswood..........19 19 13 11––62
Carroll County (19-5) Goins 7 7-11 23, R.Dalton 2 0-0 5, Cornell 0 1-2 1, Martin 1 1-2 4, Viars 2 0-0 4, Fink 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Hiatt 0 0-0 0, Neely 0 1-5 1, Singleton 0 0-0 0, Dickens 2 2-2 6, Scott 0 0-0 0, S.Dalton 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 12-22 46. Spotswood (23-4) C.Williams 2 6-6 11, B.Williams 1 1-3 4, Mitchell 7 1-2 15, N.M.Mueller 3 1-2 8, Richardson 2 1-2 5, DeLaGarza 0 0-0 0, Cameron 0 0-0 0, Raynes 4 6-6 15, Dofflemyer 0 0-0 0, N.C.Mueller 0 2-2 2, Shifflett 0 0-0 0, Nicholson 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 19-23 62.
Three-point field goals – Carroll County 4-11 (Goins 2, Martin, R.Dalton), Spotswood 3-11 (C.Williams, B.Williams, Raynes). Rebounds – Carroll County 27 (Goins 10), Spotswood 44 (Mitchell 10). Turnovers – Carroll County 13, Spotswood 17. Team fouls – Carroll County 16, Spotswood 16. Fouled out – Dickens.